[archive 2011] The Huntington Town Smackdown Man Brutally Arrested At Town Hall Avalon Bay Is Approved 4-1 [video]

06-09-2017 06:12 pm
Zach Teplin

Huntington Town Board Meeting: June 6th 2011


Huntington Town Hall, 7:00 pm, was the site of the latest in a series of meetings over the proposed building of the Avalon Bay housing development. The motion was passed 4-1. The topic was passionately fought for and against, and there were several moments of disruption in the proceedings, but in all the night progressed in a fairly orderly fashion.



Mass housing development, planned for the property on East Fifth Street in Huntington Station, will have 379 apartments, a mix of both rental (80% of units) and for-sale units. According to their website, 25% of the apartments will be single-bedroom, and the majority, 48%, will have two bedrooms. The rest will be three-bedroom units. This includes workforce housing.



Those opposed to the development brought up concerns about, amongst other things: increased traffic, increased density, added taxes, the strain on the school system, and the distinct change in character that will be brought to their community. Opponents also point out the lack of jobs available in Huntington that will entice people to move to the Station.



Moreover, as had been pointed out during the Town Hall meeting on Monday, there are already many homes available. According to the short-sale specialist at the Huntington branch of Prudential there are currently many homes, short-sales, and foreclosures on the market in Huntington right now, and the average home for sale in Huntington Station is $318,000. The pricing of the proposed Avalon Bay apartments are not available on their website, and the VP of Avalon Bay's Development was not available for comment.



Avalon Bay claims the apartments will have a neutral impact on the school's budget, as the budget increase is projected to be $1.7 million to accommodate the new students, and it is assumed that the apartments will generate $1.8 million in taxes. Traffic, say the developers, will be mitigated by the addition of a traffic light on the corner of Park Avenue and 5th Street. Opponents say this will not help matters of safety and congestion.



Some opponents were worried of the environmental impact that the new development might have. One resident pointed out the lack of compliance with SEQRA regulations, and the fact that no SEQRA forms have been filed. While that hasn't been verified, it is true that Avalon Bay has, according to their website, been working with the EPA in developing the plans for their proposed development. The proposed development required the property to be rezoned from an R7 Residential district to a R-3M Garden Apartment district. The housing will be arranged so that there is plenty of green space and open areas, more than is even in Avalon Court, according to the Avalon Bay website.



There were a few moments of controversy during the proceedings. A resident of Huntington Station came forward and asked Councilman Cuthbertson to abstain from the vote due to his association with some of the parties involved with the Avalon Bay development, such as the law firm that is representing Avalon. Cuthbertson denied any conflict of interest in the matter, as he has left the firm eight years ago.



The biggest disruption, however, occurred toward the end of the proceedings, with the arrest of a Huntington Station resident. Throughout the night, one of the protestors of the development had been vocal enough to warrant a warning from Supervisor Frank Petrone for heckling other speakers. At the second outburst, Petrone warned that he would be removed from the room by security if he persisted. When the man began interrupting a third time he was removed from the room by police, while the other protestors vocalized their opinion on the matter. As the man was reaching the door, however, an altercation broke out, with both sides seen to be shoving each other amid shouts. Once the police had removed the man from the room, it took a little time to get the room back in order.







During the debate over the Avalon Bay development on Monday, concerned residents of Huntington brought to light a much more immediate threat to the town. ATVs, quad bikes and other off-road vehicles have been using the park illegally, scaring the residents and causing havoc.

"I have called security over forty times in the last two months," [a] Northport resident [Maureen Sierra] said to the board during the meeting on Monday. "Nothing has been done about it. Safety should be the town of Huntington's main concern… My children are scared to go back there because they go flying by… my dog was run over… I approached [the people riding the ATVs]… and I was threatened."


Supervisor Frank Petrone reached out to each resident who came up to speak, and asked to meet with them later to discuss what has been happening and what should be done.